Approximately 1,406,100 linear feet (428,579 m) of hot-sprayed thermoplastic stripe was applied to roadways in Louisville and Jefferson County in the summer of 1973. Visual observations of appearance, durability, and night visibility were conducted according to ASTM D 713-69, the standard method for conducting road service tests on traffic paint. Attempts to conduct photometer measurements of the thermoplastic striping were unsuccessful. Visual observations made during rainy, nighttime conditions were also unsuccessful because very little difference was noticeable among the various sections.

The evaluation showed that the thermoplastic stripes performed considerably better on bituminous concrete pavements than on portland cement concrete pavements. White thermoplastic stripes were generally better than yellow stripes, particularly on portland cement concrete surfaces.

No definite relationship was found between durability of thermoplastic striping and traffic volume for stripes applied to bituminous concrete pavements. The stripes, however, were less durable on the older pavements. On portland cement concrete pavements, the stripes were less durable on high volume roads and older pavements.

An economic analysis of the cost of thermoplastic and paint striping revealed that thermoplastic striping is more economical on the higher volume roads. Volumes required for thermoplastic striping to be more economical than paint striping ranged from 15,000 vehicles per day on a two-lane bituminous concrete pavement (white or yellow stripes) to 120,000 vehicles per day on a six-lane portland cement concrete pavement (yellow stripes). Volumes required for other highway types, pavement type, and line color are also presented.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 449

Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Bureau of Highways. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.